How To – Email Marketing

As with most things, technology makes some of the most complicated marketing endeavors manageable – and it’s true of email marketing. Again, as with most things, there are clear steps and actions for success. Here’s what you should be doing – or monitoring if you’ve outsourced it.

  • Determine what we want to get from an email campaign.  Setting goals is something that we, as business people, know the value of.
  • Choose a provider. And are they mobile-friendly? I’ve seen statistics of more than 50% of emails being viewed on a smartphone or tablet. (Of course I have  a preference. Sounds like a blog post or email that could write itself!)
  • Clean up existing database. Because violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2006 can incur fines of $16,000 per email sent.  How many are on your list? Do the math.
  • Get people to opt in.  As with everything, there are Best Practices – and penalties (see above) for not following them.
  • Keep contacts organized. This is especially helpful  for targeting by purchases, demographics, and other user actions.
  • Retention versus acquisition. We know that the cost of retaining a customer is exponentially less than the cost of acquiring one.
  • Keep the design clean. We’ve all seen the culprits in our inboxes. Do we want to be them?
  • Content is still king. What do our customers want? More importantly, what have we told them we’ll deliver?
  • Subject lines matter, and there are ways to test them to ensure maximum audience engagement.
  • Time the delivery.  Most email programs have a feature that allows us to send a campaign when it’s most likely to be viewed. It’s an algorithm that’s based on type of industry, demographics of recipient, and many other factors.

There’s more, of course, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. Get going!


Do you know about my five-hour metric? When we take on any new activity – a specific marketing activity, hobby, volunteer opportunity, anything – we should, at least initially, plan to devote five hours/week to it. Realistically, it’s not going to happen unless it’s a passion. Imagine finding five hours/week for something. Mind-boggling, right? So, sometimes we have to outsource it. You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

If you’ve decided that it’s time to get serious about email, and you don’t have an extra five hours/week, contact me. It might be five hours/week for the first few months, but once we have automation set up, it’s a matter of maintenance. Are you ready?